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Are you allergic to wine?
Last updated: Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Every wondered why wine tasting leaves you with a blocked nose? There's a good chance you may well be allergic to it.

Love wine tasting out in the country or just having a glass of red wine by the fire? For some of us, a glass of wine may cause allergic symptoms that could indicate a wine intolerance.

Wine intolerance is estimated to affect 8% of people worldwide. The term "wine intolerance", however, is a blanket term as there are a number of different compounds in wines that can trigger allergic symptoms.

Sulphite sensitivity

Of the 8% of people with a wine intolerance, it's estimated that 1% suffer from an allergy to sulphites in the wine. Sulphites are sulphur-containing substances that occur naturally in wine but which are also added by winemakers to prevent spoiling. Allergic symptoms usually occur in those with another underlying condition such as asthma or hay fever.

The majority of those with a sulphite sensitivity will not experience severe allergic reactions. However, wheezing, coughing and chest tightness are believed to affect 5-10% of those people who also suffer from asthma, the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy(ASCIA) explains.

Common symptoms of a sulphur sensitivity include:

- Wheezing

- Tight chest

- Coughing

Sulphites are also present in a number of other food substances such as pickled foods, vinegar, beer and cider, gravy and dried fruits, Allergy UKindicates. It can also be found as a preservative in certain medications and cosmetics.

Histamine sensitivity

There's also research to suggest that histamines in wine could trigger allergic symptoms. Histamines are part of the body's immune response and cause inflammation. They also occur in naturally-fermented products such as wine.

According to an article by Allergy UK, an enzyme called diamine oxidase is responsible for breaking ... Read more


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